In September 2021, Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi virtually addressed the plenary session of the 6th Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) i.e. the 2021 edition of EEF, which was held in Vladivostok, Russia.
- The main theme for the EEF 2021 is: ‘Opportunities for the Far East in a World under Transformation’. The Forum’s programme is divided into four thematic pillars: ‘The New Economy: What Changes and What Stays the Same’, ‘The Far East: New Challenges and Opportunities’, ‘Our Shared Responsibility in a Changing World’, and ‘Youth EEF’.
- Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas and Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri visited Russia to participate in the EEF. President of Russia Vladimir Putin also present in the EEF.
i.The PM stressed the importance of greater economic and commercial engagement between the two nations in line with the ‘Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership’.
ii.He pointed out the health and pharma sectors as important areas of cooperation and stressed their importance under COVID-19. Other potential areas of economic cooperation such as diamond, coking coal, steel, timber, etc are also mentioned by him.
iii.He lauded Russian President’s vision for the development of the Russian Far East and noted about India’s ‘Act East Policy’.
iv.He mentioned about the Mazagon Docks Limited’s future partnership with ‘Zvezda’ for construction of commercial ships.
v.PM extended an invitation to Governors of the 11 regions of the Russian Far East to visit India.
Petroleum Minister Hardeep Singh Puri’s Participation in the 6th EEF
Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Hardeep Singh Puri led the Indian delegation of Indian oil and gas companies to have a 5-day visit to Russia from September 1 to 5, 2021. Under the visit, he attended the 6th EEF in Vladivostok, Russia.
- He participated in the India-Russia Business dialogue within the framework of EEF.
- During the 5-day visit he also visited Sakhalin-I oilfield in Russia. He also met the officials of Russian petrochemicals company Sibur and Novatek Gas industry company, Novatek.
- An online meeting between Chief Minister of Gujarat Vijay Rupani and Governor of Sakha-Yakutia province of Russia was also held on the sidelines of EEF.
OVL, IOC Signed MoU with Russia’s Gazprom
ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL), the overseas arm of Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC), and the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Russia’s Gazprom for cooperation in the hydrocarbon sector. The MoU was signed at the 6th EEF.
Investment under Oil and gas:
i.Russia is the largest investment destination for the Indian oil and gas companies.
ii.To date the Indian public sector companies have made investments of ~ USD 16 billion in Russia, including in the Far East and East Siberia and in oil and gas assets such as Sakhalin-1, Vankor and Taas-Yuryakh.
iii.India also plans to import more liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Russia to overcome the dependence on the Middle East.
Note – In 2020, IOC signed a deal with Russian oil major ‘Rosneft’ to buy up to 2 million tonnes, or 40,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude.
About Eastern Economic Forum (EEF):
i.EEF was formed in 2015 by decree of the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin to support the economic development of Russia’s Far East and to expand international cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region.
ii.It includes a number of business dialogues with leading partner countries in the Asia-Pacific region, and ASEAN.
iii.In 2019, he participated as the Chief Guest at the 5th EEF, which was the 1st visit by an Indian Prime Minister to the Far East Region of Russia.
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The 12th Edition of Biennial bilateral maritime Exercise ‘INDRA Navy-21’ was held between the Indian Navy & Russian Federation Navy in the Baltic Sea from July 28-29, 2021.
Capital – Moscow
Currency – Russian ruble
President – Vladimir Putin
Prime Minister – Mikhail Mishustin
About Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas (MoPNG):
Union Minister – Hardeep Singh Puri (Constituency – Uttar Pradesh)
Minister of State (MoS) – Rameswar Teli (Constituency – Dibrugarh, Assam)